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  Bookends: Dan Davidson

Grizzly Pete and the Ghosts

Reviewed: September 22, 2003
By: Janet Anderson / Illustrations by: John Beder
Publisher: Annick Press
32 pages, $7.95

There are a lot of ways that a prospector might try to find gold, but if each of them could have the kind of helper that Grizzly Pete gets at the end of this story, they wouldn’t have to work at it very hard.

Young Spook is one of five ghosts of various ages that are all that’s left of the population of the gold mining town of Paydirt. Most left when the gold played out, and the other ghosts scared off the rest. Spook didn’t like to scare, so he stayed out of it and played in the abandoned mine shafts.

Grizzly Pete was the one old miner who hadn’t left, and the other ghosts finally decided it was time Spook got rid of him. But Pete was a canny old codger, and managed to scare first Spook and then the others by “tinning” them. (I refuse to explain this - read the book.)

Spook finally figured out how Pete pulled this trick, but instead of blowing the whistle on him, he entered the man’s dreams and took him on a tour of the mine, showing him that the gold was gone. This little ectoplasmic survey gave them both a bright idea, and soon Pete left the town with his new partner. They both got what they wanted.

Clever story. Nicely drawn and painted in watercolours.

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